No product better exemplifies Sony Computer Entertainment's "everything and the kitchen sink" design mentality better than the company's Playstation 3 home console, originally a hulk of shiny black plastics and chrome accents that seemed huge -- larger still than most DVD players today -- but used some advanced parts for 2006: a 3.2 GHz proprietary multi-core computer processor unit (CPU), a 550 MHz Nvidia graphics processor humbly dubbed the "Reality Synthesizer," and a Blu-ray drive.
After the console's launch in November 2006, iSuppli estimated the material and manufacturing costs, concluding that Sony (SNE) lost as much as $307 for every console model, and in fact, the Playstation 3 business was in the red until the company's fiscal fourth quarter of last year. Some gamers viewed it as too costly a purchase initially, while critics questioned its potential in a market dominated by significantly cheaper competition from Microsoft (MSFT) and Nintendo (NTDOY). More
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